Category Archives: Festival

Read This to know abou the Best Occasion Venue

Seven-Degrees is a grant winning venue offering full-administration occasion coordination and plan. A clear canvas surrounded by the clearing gulches of Laguna Shoreline, our unmistakable space is only the start of your experience. Weddings, craftsmanship appears, and occasions of numerous types are molded here. Each occasion is another, solitary, stand-out establishment fitting conscientious instinct with outline driven sharp. We have played maker and host to design appears, celebrations, philanthropy suppers, workmanship displays, weddings, and recompenses services. We are a venue that is alive and beating, and can be formed to suit your artful culmination.

Seven-Degreesis an occasion venue, as well as offers full administration occasion arranging that weds style and substance. The innovative staff of occasion virtuosus and hand-chose temporary workers exceeds expectations at both making and planning every subtle element of the experience. Through their scene of administrations and custom choices, each occasion at Seven-Degrees is a solitary, stand-out innovation. From in-house providing food and refreshment administrations to florals and stylistic theme. Broad in-house sound/visual capacities incorporate retractable extensive screen projection frameworks, plasma and LCD screens, zoned sound framework, sight and sound showcase, video catch and telecast ability from advanced cameras situated all through the office, and insightful lighting frameworks including full-room shading wash capacity.

Seven-Degrees is the juxtaposition of refined extravagance and cutting edge points. Assembled in 2001, the present day design piece is a canvas for inhabitant specialists and occasions. From the littlest, seven-degree corner after which it’s named, to the local succulent arranging and contemporary rooms, the venue has numerous features and boundless open doors. Outside, you have admittance to our porch sitting above Laguna Gully, the greenery enclosures carved into the Gully Divider, and our yard arranged over the appreciated promenade. Inside, you have entry to 25,000 sq. ft. of imaginative stylistic theme with in-house sound and visual abilities all through our headliner space and breakout rooms.

 

2010 Summer Events in New York City

Throughout the summer months New York City is home to many events. There is always an event to attend and there is something that each person will enjoy. Whether you are traveling alone or with a group there are plenty of options to stay busy and explore all that New York has to offer. Here are some of the major events happening this summer in New York.

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Book a vacation rental with New York Habitat and stay in the city from 2 nights up to 1 month. Visit our website to learn more about New York Habitat and explore the apartments that we have for rent.

American Ballet Theatre Season at the Met: May 17 - July 10
American Ballet Theatre Season is an annual event in New York that brings over 600,000 guests who come to watch the shows performed by one of the top dance companies in the world. This year hosts the 70th anniversary of the American Ballet Theatre, which is currently under the direction of Kevin McKenzie, a former dancer.Photo of Central Park

Shakespeare in the Park: June 9 - August 1 (Central Park)
Each year at the Delacorte theatre in Central Park, playgoers can sit on the lawn and watch one of Shakespeare’s plays for free. This summer the two plays being performed are The Winter’s Tale, and The Merchant of Venice, they will be performed in repertory for eight weeks during this event.

National Puerto Rican Day Parade: June 13
The 53rd annual Puerto Rican Day Parade will March along 5th Avenue and should have over 80,000 marching this year. It is one of the largest parades annually in New York with over 3 million viewers. The televised event is host to delegates from Puerto Rico as well as many participants from throughout the United States.

Check out our blog article on the National Puerto Rican Day Parade to learn more about this event.

HBO Bryant Park Film Festival: Mondays from June 21 to August 23,
Each Monday night, Bryant Park in New York hosts a film presented by HBO movie network. The park opens for blankets at 5pm and the movie begins at dusk.

River to River Festival: June - August
The River to River Festival hosts free music, dance and cultural events in lower Manhattan throughout the summer. The River to River Festival is currently in its 8th year and is New York’s largest free summer arts festival.

Central Park Summer Stage 2010: June - September
Each year the City Parks Foundation of New York presents the Central Park Summer stage. The Central Park Summer Stage is a series of free concerts offered throughout the season. This year the Summer Stage will host 33 free concerts and 8 benefit shows.

Celebrate Brooklyn: Zoom: Zvidance & Son Lux with Lottdance: July 1
(The Banshell in Prospect Park)
Choreographer Zvi Gotheiner’s, uses the audiences photos and text messages to create a show in which the dancers respond to what the audience is doing. Composer Son Lux and Lottdance will open the Show for Celebrate Brooklyn in New York on July 1st. Gates at this event will open at 7:00 pm.

Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks: July 4 (Manhattan)
On July 4th annually the Macy’s fireworks Spectacular is a great way to celebrate Independence Day in New York City. This year the show returns to the Hudson River, where more than 120,000 fireworks from all over the world can be seen over the Hudson.

Lincoln Center Festival: July 7 - 25 (Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts)
This summer at Lincoln Center, global music and arts are celebrated through nearly 100 performances and events that take place during the festival in New York.

New York City Triathlon: July 18
Over 1,000 competitors each year swim the Hudson River, bike along the Henry Hudson Parkway and run through Central Park while participating in the New York City Triathlon.

Mostly Mozart Festival at Lincoln Center:July 27-August 21,Tickets go on sale June 3
Along with the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra, one can enjoy concerts at this festival ranging from early baroque music to pieces by composers of today. The Mostly Mozart Festival at Lincoln Center in New York  is an event that attracts both the savvy concert attendee as well as those who would like to attend a more casual performance.

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New York International Fringe Festival: August 13 - 29
The New York International Fringe Festival is multi-arts festival where you can enjoy shows by over 200 performance companies. The Fringe festival hosts over 1200 performances each year in New York by performers from all over the world. This two-week long event is the largest multi-arts festival in North America.

US Open Tennis: August 30 - September 12 (USTA National Tennis Center)
The United States Open Tennis Championships hosts 5 event championships in its main tournament each year. Hundreds of men and women compete each year in the US Open for prize money during this two-week long event at the end of summer.

Central Park Film Festival: 2010 Schedule TBA
Each year Central Park shows a series of evening films throughout the summer. New York is the theme used to choose which films are presented at the Central Park Film Festival. Enjoying a movie during this festival is a great way to experience all Central Park has to offer.

Harlem Week: July 15 - October 16
This summer, Harlem Week is celebrating its 35th anniversary. This event began in 1974 as Harlem Day and was a celebration of the growing urban community. With more and more to see and celebrate it has now become Harlem Week. A series of events to encourage New Yorkers and visitors to see all that Harlem has to offer. This event now spans the entire summer.

The summer is the perfect time to visit New York City. You can book a fantastic vacation rental with New York Habitat. Visit our website for more information or to fill out an apartment request form. Vacation rentals fill up quickly in the summer, but there is still time to rent a great apartment and enjoy all of the events that New York has to offer from June to September.

OFAAC And The 9th Anioma Cultural Festival Any Lessons Learnt

The Anioma Cultural Festival has been held and as usual the Organization For the Advancement of Anioma Culture (OFAAC) has wonderfully put smiles on our faces but it is just relatable that as a people we look back and appraise ourselves to determine our performance. This will help us to do better in the future. However, before we go further on this, credit must be given to OFAAC, an organization with substance; an organization that untiringly and intrepidly work round the clock including funding the cultural fiesta to promote and preserve our culture; an organization that has now succeeded in putting our Anioma region in tourist destination.

The Anioma Cultural Festival may be gaining impulsion in some quarters but it is still requires the support of all. The Organization For the Advancement of Anioma Culture, the culture umbrella of the Anioma people was founded in November 2003 by Arc Kester Ifeadi. Its core focus is on preservation, promotion and advancement of the rich cultural heritage of the Anioma people and Nigeria. OFAAC is non-governmental and non-political organization and membership spans across all classes of people in Nigeria and in the Diaspora.

Its major aims and objectives are as follows:

(i)            Preservation, promotion and advancement of the appreciation and development of the rich cultural heritage of the Anioma people and Nigeria.

(ii)           To promote positive self-esteem and natural identity amongst the youth

(iii)         To promote the use of traditional attires

(iv)         To encourage traditional crafts for technology, tourism and economic stabilization in rural areas

(v)          To carry out researches and documentations of our cultural heritage

(vi)         To package and promote the unique culture of Anioma for national/international tourism.

The Organization For the Advancement of Anioma Culture may have achieved more than its social calculations having consistently and successfully put together nine cultural festivals for the region. OFAAC is also on record as an organization that has pulled the highest number of Anioma traditional rulers at a single forum. This record is hard to negate considering that it involves the support of traditional rulers who are the bywords of the people’s culture. OFAAC has also worked hard to achieve this, considering that it is a non-profit and non-political group with no political bait or any money to distribute.

It is purely a social inclined group with the cultural interest of its people standing as chief aims and objectives. It is on this basis that it sets out to preserve and promote some of the already becoming extinct cultures of its people. Dance culture, Dress culture, traditional wrestling and masquerade dance are some of them. OFAAC is doing for its own people what should be done; rightly they have chosen an endeavour and courageously they are on a mission. They are winning the cultural race and the people are rejoicing.

OFAAC’s achievements may not be in vain as it was in 2005 pronounced the finest cultural event in Delta State by the Federal Ministry of Culture and Tourism which of course is a testimony of hard-work as well as consistency in the endorsement of the people’s culture. Again, it won the heart of the Omu of Okpanam and Anioma, HRM, Dr Martha Dunkwu who recently announced the presentation of a parcel of land in Okpanam to OFAAC.

This year’s event of the festival shows that the festival has grown tremendously with a remarkable improvement in standard. This particular one attracted about 98 groups that engaged themselves in a healthy competition and larger witnesses than what it has been in the past which shows astounding improvement in display since the last performance. It may also have received wider publicity from the press whether from print or electronic media and no doubt has enjoined the best talked about cultural festival at the moment.

One remarkable feature of the event was methodical and sequential arrangement made possible by consistency and experience. For one, the participants appear to have acquired mastery of the cultural fiesta so that sequence has been greatly established giving the event tang. Regularity in the organization of the programme has also facilitated participants’ understanding of their roles thus ably preparing themselves towards every coming edition. Every participating group is now a beauty to behold.

We also notice that the events of the Anioma Cultural Festival have become more competitive in a healthy manner. This year’s event has also come in defined classifications; categories that existed in Primary school, Secondary school, Egwu Eshushu, Royal category, Aguba, War, Uloko, Creative, wrestling, Masquerade and Overall winners. Proper classification of competitions has ensured speedy conclusion of the event and also ensured that more winners emerged. In all about 27 total winners emerged at the event which is progressive for the region.

There is no doubt that the cultural fiesta is fast gaining ground internationally becoming the tourists’ destination. Hard-work has simply been the secret of the organizers. All roads now lead to Asaba in anticipation of the Anioma Cultural Festival. MTN Nigeria and Seaman Schnapps, the major sponsors of this year’s event have reiterated their stanchness in standing behind the Anioma people and organizers of the Anioma Cultural Festival, helping the region to showcase its culture to the entire world.

By far, the greatest achievement of this year’s Anioma Day is the participation of Igbanke dance troupe. OFAAC has commendably scored a point by uniting Igbanke with their Anioma kith and kin thus acting as a centre of unanimity. The heroic deed supports the thinking that Igbanke has an ethnic grouping and that its roots can be traced to Ika people of Anioma where the people rightly belong. This has also opened the window for the people to regularly engage in cultural interaction with their kinsmen in future. It was a day that Igbanke was specially celebrated by the rest of their kinsmen. The Igbanke National Progressive Alliance made this a possibility but both the Organization For the Advancement of Anioma Culture (OFAAC) and Igbanke National Progressive Alliance (INPA) share the accolade.

Much as the event is celebrated, there also some bitter lessons to learn from this year Anioma Cultural Festival. That this year’s event attracted about 47 royal fathers from the Anioma region is a testimony of sense of good relationship between many of the traditional rulers, their subjects on one hand and the traditional rulers and the affairs of their region on the other hand. Surely, the traditional rulers appreciate the communal gains in building stronger relationship between the leaders and subjects. However, on the part of politicians of Anioma extraction, it is unfortunate that relationship between Anioma political representatives and those they represent is very dim.

Hon (Engr.) Victor Onyekachi Ochei, Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly, Former Deputy Governor of Delta State, Chief Benjamin Elue, Evangelist Joan Onyemaechi Mrakpor, Member of the Delta State House of Assembly and Theodora Giwa Amun were present at the occasion but it still remains sad that the people’s political representatives with Anioma mandates did not deem it fit to capitalize on the beautiful day offered by the Anioma Cultural Festival to relate with their own people that largely gave them mandates. One would have thought that a cultural festival is different from a political activity but this particular year’s event has not broken the “opposition” jinx theory that many of the politicians hold.

It was also poignant that many of our royal fathers who were physically present at the occasion discovered that those that had come to them prior to elections for royal blessings did were not at the occasion in solidarity with the people’s cultural heritage which they are all part of. It further lends credence to the people’s general philosophy that they their political representatives are far from them limiting feedbacks that should help to strengthen the affairs of the region and lead to its development. Politics is good but culture is the bedrock of every society Anioma inclusive.

Sadly enough, many of the political representatives of some of its sub-groups were missing thus these sub-groups had no representatives at the cultural festival, which left participants from these sub-groups feeling void. Words here cannot passably describe their feeling but they would have yearned to have their political representatives watch them as an encouragement. Political representatives’ presence will surely make the event complete, a reason we crave their presence.

The event should not be an event for the Anioma people alone and this can only be achieved if Anioma political representatives make moves to identify with their own people through the natural avenue created by OFAAC. If they decide to identify with the program then big political heavyweights from the other ethnic groups particularly in Delta State will give the region the much needed support. Political representatives must never turn their backs at the very people they came begging during political campaigns. Imagine if half of the political heavyweights that Anioma boasts of throw their support behind the Cultural Festival, it will indeed be a force to reckon with.

This is why we implore our political representatives to render support to the cultural fiesta. It may have emerged as a vision of one man but it has today transformed into an encircling cultural conservation and promotion fiesta for the good of the entire sons and daughters of the Anioma region which political ideology must never rock.

There is no region without leaders; one would therefore have longed to see the acclaimed leaders of the region in the roll call of attendees. Getting feedback from the people they lead is as important as their headship. A cultural festival is a very important aspect of a group’s existence and a group can never celebrate its day without its leaders. An event like this needs the support of the region’s leaders to be complete. There was for that reason a huge bolt from the blue that many of those who claim to speak for the region were not on ground to grace the occasion and appreciate those they claim to lead. If an Anioma event of this enormity held in Anioma land does not receive overwhelming attendance from the leaders of the region, will one expect a similar event to attract large turn-out in United States of America.

It has noticeably become customary for newer organizations particularly those whose activities are entrenched online to send delegates to the event while older organizations are never seen. This noxious attitude must change for the good of the region. “Ofu obi bu ike anyi” should guide the diverse people of the region towards stabilizing the already growing voice within the Nigerian polity. This is if ever the region wants to be heard. While fairly emerging groups like Ndi Anioma, Anioma Voice, Umu Anioma, Proudly Asaba, Ndi Oshimili South, Onu Anioma and Igbanke National Progressive Alliance among numerous others sent delegates to the event, delegates from older acclaimed socio-political groups of the region were palpably missing at the event.

Lastly, the annual event appears to have grown with large crowds than the organizers expect, it will therefore be of advantage to the organizers if large screens are placed on the venues of the event to enable closer view by the excited audience.

This piece will be incomplete without heaping praises on the Organization For the Advancement of Anioma Culture that continues to promote and conserve our culture. This year’s event is indeed a testimony that the Anioma Cultural Festival has come to stay and with assistance from all, the Anioma rich cultural heritage will continually be showcased to the whole world. We thank OFAAC for a job well done and implore it to do more for us. Anioma is the indeed the best place to hail from.

Two of the Best Activities to Enjoy During African Safari Holidays

Africa is a wonderful destination to visit.  It is a vast and ancient continent that stretches from its most northern parts in Egypt, the land of the Pharaohs, all the way to its most southern points in Cape Town South Africa.  One of the reasons why guests flock from all over the world is to see the wildlife.  Africa is home to abundant and diverse wildlife including the famous Big Five (these are the African lion, the Cape buffalo, the leopard, the black or white rhino and the African elephant).  These are the top five most dangerous animals that visitors will encounter in the African bush.  This article shall briefly describe two fun activities that guests on an African safari will certainly enjoy.

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Game Drives

A game drive is an exciting activity, during which an experienced game ranger and local tracker would share their extensive knowledge and love of the African bush with guests. Each drive lasts about three hours long.

During the morning game drive you will be spoiled with coffee and homemade snacks and in the afternoon your ranger will find a suitable spot where you can enjoy the stunning views, whilst enjoying your sundowner drink. After sundowners your tracker will use the spotlight to find nocturnal animals, before returning to the lodge for dinner. Your ranger will discuss the various game drive regulations before you leave camp.

During the game drive guests will note that the rangers sometimes drive off of the road and into the bush. This is one of the many game drive aspects that enable us to bring you closer to the action! We only allow off-roading in certain areas and with special precautions. The intention is to have a small impact on the environment

Hot air balloon ride

Nothing comes close to the thrill of a hot air balloon ride over the vast Serengeti National park with unparalleled panoramic views of the awe-inspiring landscapes.  The hot air balloon ride is a safari that lets you experience game viewing from aloft. Gliding serenely above the trees offers unparalleled panoramic balloon views of the awe-inspiring landscape. Your pilot can precisely control the altitude the hot air balloon: sometimes flying at treetop height, sometimes lower, offering a unique perspective and great photographic opportunities of the wildlife below. After an hour or so it’s touch down to a toast of champagne in a celebratory mood. A hot bush breakfast is in order, followed by issuance of Serengeti Balloon Certificate of participation.

Finding the Best Peruvian Food

Peruvian food has started to gain popularity all over the world. It is now considered one of the best, most diverse cuisines in the world. However, you’ll find the best Peruvian food in the heart of Peru in Lima.

Different regions of Peru have slightly different cuisines. Peru has a diverse topography with a coastal region, rich green fields as well as mountains. People from the coasts primarily eat seafood while people near the Amazon favor fresh water fish and tropical fruits.

Andean cuisine is centered on meat and potatoes as well as maize and quinoa.  Asian, African and European settlers brought their own flavors and spices with them as well.

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Because of this, you can’t easily decide which food is the best Peruvian food. If you want to sample the best flavors in Peru, you should probably try Peruvian fusion food.

The Best Fusion at Le Moliere

The Royal Park Hotel’s in-house restaurant Le Moliere is an excellent fine dining destination. It offers an array of dishes that employ Peruvian fusion flavors. You’ll find the best fusion gourmet food made from fresh, local ingredients by an excellent chef.

The ambience of the restaurant is warm and sophisticated, setting the tone for the dining experience. You get to experience a blend of international and local flavors along with some Peruvian specialties. The meals come with freshly baked bread and a collection of great wine vintages and other such drinks.  Dinning at Le Moliere is a great way to understand the true depth and complexity of the best Peruvian food.

Gastronomic Experience

Royal Park Hotel also conducts gastronomic tours, understanding the growing international interest in Peruvian food. You can enjoy a piping hot cup of exquisite organic Peruvian coffee at the start of the tour. If that’s not to your taste, you can try the refreshing Lucama milkshake, that’s sure to energize you.

After that, you can roam the streets of Lima, visiting the Barranco and enjoying the bohemian vibe. You can savor the world famous Ceviche with the Pisco Sour cocktail and other local and international favorites.

Business Lunches

Nothing brings two people together better than great food and the same can be said of businesses. The lunch offerings at Le Moliere can elevate anyone’s mood and make negotiations a breeze, thanks to a truly inspired lunch menu. You can enjoy the best Peruvian food right in the heart of Lima and take great memories back home with you.

A Very Fascinating Animal Seen on an African Safari Holiday

Africa is a beautiful continent.  It is a superb destination for anyone who wants to relax and unwind.  One of the reasons that guests flock to the continent is because of the beautiful and spectacular places such as the Victoria Falls, Table Mountain in South Africa and the great Pyramids of Giza.  Another big attraction that draws guests to visit Africa is the wildlife.  Africa is home to abundant and diverse animals.  The continent is home to marvelous animals such as the Famous Big Five (these are the African lion, the African elephant, the black or white rhino, the Cape buffalo and the elephant).  The members of the Big Five are the five most dangerous animals that guests will encounter in the bush on their African safari.  One particular animal in the big five is very interesting to observe during an African safari.  This animal is the African elephant.

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The African elephant is very impressive because it is a highly intelligent animal.  Through the ages, the African elephant has captured the imaginations of people across the globe. No species has received more attention than the elephant. Not only is it the largest land animal, extraordinary communication, similar lifespan to humans, strong sense of family make this animal truly fascinating animal to observe during a safari package holiday.

Elephants occur in a wide variety of habitats from open grassland to forested regions including open arid savanna or desert, and the contrasting wet areas of marshes and lake shores, from sea level to mountainous regions above the snowlines.  Elephants are not territorial. However, each family or clan may have a specific home range, and these may overlap. These animals can walk vast distances in search of nutritional forage and water.

The females are extremely social and will spend their entire lives in the same group. They take very good care of their offspring, and all of the females jump in to help as well. They are excellent when it comes to communicating both verbally and non-verbally. They also are very protective of each other.  African elephants exhibit a variety of behaviors including the uncanny ability of being able to identify the bone remains of other elephants. They can express a variety of emotions including sorrow when they come across them.

In conclusion guests should to go on African safaris.  Whether they choose to go on safari honeymoons or luxury family safaris, guests are sure to treasure their time in Africa.  In Africa, visitors will be amongst great animals such as the African elephant.  After their safari package holiday, they are also sure to return home with a new positive appreciation for nature and their own place within nature.

Plan Your Trip to Vietnam A General Overview

With a rich ancient culture, attractive natural beauty and a friendly population, Vietnam is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world.

While most travelers appreciate the colorful and delicious local cuisine with its special flavors, many like to mention the great cultural wealth of this country.

Travel Vietnam brings a lot of unforgettable experience. Even with a small budget, a join group tour package will still allow you to spend very good time in this country and do a lot of amazing discoveries.

Vietnam provides an affordable destination for all types of visitors. You can enjoy your stay in a small family hostel or a 5 star beach resort if you prefer a special holiday; eat in a budget restaurant as well as a sumptuous one; choose private road transports, that however can be a little tricky if you are not able to clearly negotiate the price in advance, or just sharing the bus with other travelers.

Vietnam shows different aspects of its beauty and the interesting side of the everyday and cultural life as well: Next to noisy cities, full of scooters and street food vendors, you will find vast fields of rice and campaigns, and some more magnificent coastline with tropical beaches, and wild nature. All will help you to understand the culture of this extraordinary country.

Throughout the journey from Hanoi to the beautiful beaches of Nha Trang, from the mountains of Sapa, region that draws tourists in large numbers as it has plenty of scenic beauty as well as the center of cross-cultural influences in the nation, to the complex canals of Mekong delta, you’ll be amazed of the diversity that you not just can observe but absorb too. Visit the temples of Angkor Wat in Siem Riep, feeling the slow pace life in the quiet streets of Luang Prabang, recognized by Unesco as World Heritage.

The highlights of this combination will include the relaxation of the beach paradise of Mui Ne, Hoi An and the ancient atmosphere of Hue, a cruise in the beautiful Halong Bay aboard of a traditional junk, or cultural visit to two of the most colorful cities in South East Asia: Hanoi, a beautiful city where the heritage of a subtle French elegance is touchable, and Ho Chi Minh City (formerly named Saigon), an energetic metropolis of eight millions residents with its charming and fascinating architecture, the capitals of North and South Vietnam respectively. The big cities are packed with street vendors and you should be aware that they sell their merchandise to tourist at a price ten times bigger than to local people.

Even if in a general overview, it is impossible don’t mention the Cu Chi Tunnel, around 70 kilometers from Ho Chi Minh City, an unbelievable network of 121 kilometer (75 miles) of underground tunnels, built and used as shelter by Vietnamese soldiers and people during the war against the Americans. They are situated into the jungle and the trap door when closed was totally camouflaged, and almost undetectable. There you can see everything needed for the everyday life: kitchens, surgery and emergency rooms, dormitories. However, the life was not easy above all because of ants, poisonous insects, scorpions, spiders and vermin. For a tourist it is a little difficult to come and walk in because of the low height of the ceiling and the minimal width of the inside walls, but after a deep breath it is possible to visit it unless you are claustrophobic!

Vietnam’s climate is variable depending of the regions: The tropical southern is warm all year round, with two season – form May to October the hottest - while the mountainous north has a more temperate climate, four seasons with a somewhat of cooler winter. By the way, keep in mind that basically during most months of the year you will experience sunshine and rain in variable amount.

Sinhala & Tamil New Year Festival 2011 – A grand cultural extravaganza

The Sinhala & Tamil New Year Festival is a major cultural celebration held annually with much festivity and flair in Sri Lanka. The celebration of the festival, which usually takes place on the 13th or 14th of April, promises to be a grand and exciting event for tourists looking to experience the culture and heritage of the island. Lasting for a period of 7 days, the event marks the end of an old era and welcomes the dawn of a new era that promises to be filled with good fortune and blessings. The festival also coincides with the end of the harvest period, and thus the harvest festival is also celebrated along with the Sinhala & Tamil New Year.

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Traditionally known in Sri Lanka as Aluth Avurudu, the Sinhala & Tamil New Year celebrations follow auspicious times calculated by astrology. The time at which the new year dawns and the old year ends is usually hours apart from each other based on astrological calculations. As the celebration for the festival begin, women in some areas of the island come together to play a drum-like instrument known as the raban. People throughout Sri Lanka light various types of fireworks and fire crackers to celebrate the event. During the Festival, much of the country is on holiday as people travel to visit their hometowns.

Various types of rituals and traditions that have come down through the ages are followed by the households that celebrate the New Year. A fire is lit and milk is boiled according to an auspicious time. Bananas along with traditional food items such as kiribath (milk rice), kaung (an oil cake) and kokis (a sweetmeat) are prepared and dished out by most households. Homes are beautifully decorated for the occasion and opened up to family and friends. The produce from the harvest festival adds to joy of the celebration.

Find out more information on the Sinhala & Tamil New Year 2011 and on Sri Lanka travel by visiting the Truly Sri Lanka web portal. This popular website features comprehensive information on the island’s attractions, culture and must see destinations that is sure to help you plan your Sri Lanka holiday better.

The Festival of Literature beckons!

For someone who loves books, come and be a part of the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, which is considered to be the largest celebration of literature. People of all ages and backgrounds come under one roof to enjoy this amazing festival. It also sees beloved authors from across the globe who come and educate the visitors, take part in debates and above all spread their experiences for their love for reading and writing. Exciting indeed!

Now in it’s seventh year, the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature is massive this year. Around 125 authors from across the world are ready to hit this festival, including David Williams, Channel swimmer turned children’s novelist. He first rose to fame with his sketch comedy called Little Britain, and later went on to write nin children’s books. Two of which has been adapted into a TV show – Mr. Stink and Gangsta Granny. His other books Ratburger and Demon Dentist have won the National Book Awards Children’s Book of the Year. Along with him, a number of authors whose books have been adapted into feature films will be present at the event. David Nicholls, who penned the tearjerker bestselling novel One Day, which was turned into a film will be sharing his views on his book. Other authors such as Micharl Morpurgo, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie whose award-winning novel Americanah is being made into a film starring Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o and Bradd Pitt. Another highly-anticipated author Alexander McCall Smith will be making an appearance at the festival, talking about his series of books No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency, which has sold over 20 million copies worldwide. Local authors like Massachusetts-born, Dubai-based fiction writer Liz Fenwick, and sci-fi novelist Noura Al Noman will also be making their presence felt in this event. Without a doubt, the line-up of this celebrated event is something all book lovers are waiting with bated breath.

The Emirates Airline Festival of Literature 2015 is a great platform, creating opportunities for UAE nationals, residents and visitors, along with local authors to meet and interact with world-renowned authors loved by all. Listening to their literary debates, readings, experiences and also participating in the workshops will only help and educate one and all present at the venue. There will be many activties in this 5-day festival, including writing competitions and inter-school quiz show, which will be amongst the educational highlights of this festival. The young aspiring students will also get an opportunity to hear and meet some of their favourite authors. There will be simultaneous translation between Arabic and English, making this literature festival vistor-friendly.

This festival of written and spoken word is expecting more than 30,000 visitors this year, and the majority of the events will take place in English, Arabic and French as well. The event is designed for everyone to experience and enjoy on the whole, with something to suit every taste. Come, be a part of Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, and celebrate the love for reading and writing to the fullest.

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe - an annual tradition

British arts have always played an important role for the cultural identity, in all the countries of the United Kingdom. Theatre, especially, represents a representative element from the medieval ages, when actors would travel from town to town and perform street plays for any audience who would give them some money and a lot of hospitality. Later on, this art has developed and specialized institutions were build, where professionals of the field could go on with their work. Theatre Edinburgh has become an official activity during the World War II, when in 1947 the Edinburgh Festival Fringe was organized for the first time. The event has become so popular, that in 2014 during 25 days there were more than 3,190 Edinburgh theatre shows, from over 50 countries, using 299 locations. Even if it began as an alternative to the Edinburgh International Festival and other events which could no longer take place in Europe because of the war, the festival has become an international tradition as far as arts are concerned, regardless which form: children shows, dance, theatre and circus, music, exhibitions and even cabaret.

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During its first years of existence, The Fringe, as it is also known worldwide, did not benefits from an official organization, until 1951, when a group of determined students from the University of Edinburgh got involved and began to take care of various aspects, such as obtaining accommodation and food for the participants. Four years later, in 1955, they have already managed to develop a central booking service for all those who came to perform at The Fringe. Due to the increasing popularity of the event, the Festival Fringe Society was founded in 1959: they have elaborated a constitution and a festival guide, in which the main policy was not vetting or accepting censored Edinburgh theatre shows. Originally, the creators of the event (John Calder, Jim Haynes and Richard Demarco) aimed to maintain the atmosphere of the festival during the whole year, but since there were many entities involved in its organizations, the exclusivist plays have begun to be distributed by the Traverse Theatre to audience from all over the globe, both during Edinburgh International Festival and the Fringe. Since the Fringe become a huge international celebration, volunteering students could not deal with the planning and organization anymore, so in 1970 the Society has its first administrator employed, John Milligan.

Nowadays, the event has become so important for the artistic life all over the world, that each year during three weeks in August, all the arts performers in Scotland and not only, gather in Edinburgh to enjoy art with all its forms. Each year, the Festival Director invites and strives to bring to : theatre Edinburgh the most popular and famous international performers, while also organizing talks, exhibitions and workshops. It seems that the initial idea of the Festival, according to which people should have been offered a platform where they would develop and let the human spirit bloom, has managed to take a concrete shape. Launched during the World War II, The Fringe still enriches annually the cultural life of Scotland, Britain and Europe.

How To Plan The Best-ever Princess Birthday Party

A princess themed birthday party is what most girls fancy growing up. Let her live the fantasy for a day by organizing a birthday bash with a dash of royalty. Plan the party like activities, invitations, return gifts and decorations around her dreams and make it unforgettable for her. No matter how elaborate your plans are, ensure that there are a good many cameras snapping away splendid photographs.

Spruce up the venue with satin ribbons of pink and lavender, or green or pale blue. Or you could put up flag banners. If the party theme is very specific to a princess, then you could get plates, cups and napkins accordingly. Shower confetti as each guest arrives. Children will absolutely love it. Not much is required, unless your doll is gaga about balloons, in which case please ensure that there is no dearth of them.

Assuming that your little lady has her princess attire ready for the big day, lets look at the activities that you can arrange. Based on your princess’ favorite fairy tale, you can twist around party games around that. Take the piñata game of pinning the tail on the donkey and make it funny. How? Play a game of sticking smoochy lips on a frog! Now that’s a cool spin on a routine party game.

You could also set up a craft station. Each little VIP gets their very own crown. Have cutouts of tiaras ready and offer them color, glitter, stickers, glue. Lay sheets of newspapers on the craft benches with an adult ready to assist the mini-royals and hopefully, it won’t get messy. Crank up the level of excitement by clicking instant pictures of them wearing their own handmade crowns. This can be a great souvenir to take home! Such crafty activities are a great way to keep the kids and their mums engaged together and they are easy on the pocket too.

Settle down the guests with a round of story telling. Let your princess decide on the fairy tale to be narrated. This should give the adults some breathing time to attend to other chores, like clearing away the craft benches and get the food table, gift stations set up and arrange for the cake cutting ceremony.

Remember that princesses like no mess. While cake and ice cream are a given, stock up on finger foods. Wraps with ham-n-cheese or veggies, bite sized sandwiches and pizza, fruit and vegetable tray and cookies should be good add-ons. Keep some adult refreshments for the chaperones too. You can bring in the pink in food too; use pomegranates, cherries, strawberry, beetroots, ripe guavas and make pomegranate popsicles or juice, strawberry and banana and feta cheese on a toothpick, strawberry ice-cream floats over lemon soda, guava jellies and the works!

Irrespective of age, all kids love a favor bag. Make it special by picking up a princess purse adorned with glitter and sequins. Put in a lip-gloss or a glitter nail polish or a small brush and some beady jewelry. Plastic bracelets, beady necklaces, even finger rings will always be appreciated.

Throwing a grand princess party isn’t as daunting as you think. Even on a modest budget, it can be made fun and memorable. The key is to keep your little princess and her friends busy and happy with playful activities, cute gifts and yummy finger food. Don’t forget to take pictures so that your doll can look back with pride and happiness.

Grand Oasis Cancun hotel to launch “Oasis Dance U” festival

The Grand Oasis Cancun will be dressing up in the coming new year as they introduce the “Oasis Dance U Festival”, an entertainment event specifically organised to start the year 2012 with a new hotel concept in this wonderful tourist destination. For the delight of guests lucky enough to be spending Cancun holidays at the resort from 28th March to 31st March, 2012, the spectacular Oasis Dance U Festival staged at the iconic Grand Oasis Cancun; will bring together a series of acts and parties from the best artists in electronic music, hip hop and dance of our time.

The top DJs in the world and the most famous parties from the most renowned discos on the planet: Space, Privilege and Amnesia from Ibiza, CIELO from New York, and “Something for your Mind” from Los Angeles will all be present in Cancun during the Oasis Dance U festival to offer party-goers enjoying Cancun holidays with the celebration of the year! From house music icon, David Morales, to the 5 Grammy Award winner Kelly Rowland, the number one Billboard Hot 100 Wiz Khalifa to Pitbull, one of the most sought after rappers in the world, the Oasis group will be really mixing it up in February and March 2012.

Grand Oasis Cancun Hotel
Image by: jeff91764, on Flickr.

The Grand Oasis Cancun will bring to its new front line stage a mix of musical genres including techno, hip hop, house and rap, performed by internationally recognised music icons who will make this event a legend, and where diversity will cover all tastes in a unique party space comprising over half a mile of beach with two new amazing beach clubs.

Those already thinking about heading down to the Mexican Caribbean to enjoy holidays in Cancun at the Oasis resort at the beginning of next year can find details about performances from oasishoteles.net or can make direct travel enquiries through travel agents and tour operators selling Oasis Cancun hotels.

Grand Oasis Cancun Hotel
Image by: monky.cl, on Flickr.

The hotel company Oasis Hotels & Resorts is reinventing itself once again in the Cancun hotel industry to create a unique entertainment product for where the Caribbean experience becomes a whole new world of sensations and enjoyment, both day and night. Die-hard party-goers and music lovers will certainly have “a hell of a time” during this special festival and with this incentive the hotel group expects to attracts hundreds of music-loving travellers.

In addition to all this, Oasis Hotels & Resorts are currently the host of the Cancun’s International Jazz Festival.

Cancun Beach
Image by: eggneckface33, on Flickr.

The Grand Oasis Cancun hotel stands as the “resort of entertainment per excellence”, offering the best of the Caribbean with its splendid stretch of pristine Cancun beach expanding over 800 metres and its 94.000-square-metre gardens, a wonderful swimming-pool, two beach clubs and a great stage to be able to enjoy the best party atmosphere all-day(and night)-round.

List of Festivities to Experience in Batangas, Philippines

Aside from its accessible location from Manila and charming beach accommodations, Batangas is a recommended go-to place when it comes to cultural revelry. Here, travelers can not only take pleasure on the enchanting coastlines in the town of San Juan or the breathtaking marine life of Nasugbu, but also have the chance to immerse oneself on the rich traditions of the region. So if you want to further explore the cultural side of Batangas, here are some recommended events that can get you started:

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1)     Parada ng Lechon in Balayan

Parada ng Lechon (Parade of Roasted Pigs) is done to commemorate John the Baptist. On this festival, town folks of Balayan show their gratitude to their patron saint by roasting their best pig then parading them on the street in flamboyant clothing. And since it’s the feast day of John the Baptist, the locals will, as with custom, randomly splash water on you, so if you’re planning to be in Batangas on the 24th of June, it’s wise to pack extra clothes. But don’t worry; after you get wet, you would have gained the right to feast on those delicious parading lechon.

2)    Kabakahan Festival in Padre Garcia

Highlighted by the Rodeo ala Garciano, the Kabakahan Festival is truly a satisfying event for tourists who want to witness real action in cattle herding. Other activities that you can expect from the festival are air-gun shooting competition, song-and-dance contest, street party, and pet dress-up competition. The festival is yearly celebrated on the founding anniversary date of Padre Garcia, the town known as the Philippine’s cattle-trading capital.

3)    Lambayok Festival

This event, held every second week of December, has always been a triple treat for the locals of San Juan. As a matter of fact, the festival name stands for the 3 growing industries of the town, namely lambanog (coconut wine), lambat (fish net), and palayok (clay pot). Aside from showing gratitude to the heavens for another bountiful year, the festival also aims to showcase the creativity, ingenuity, and hard work of its citizens.

4)    Balsahan Festival

Matabungkay Beach is not just preferred for its lovely Batangas resorts; it’s also visited by many tourists particularly during the month of May for the annual Balsahan Festival. The event, started just last May 18, 2002, was spearheaded by Matabungkay Beach Resort to help bring the town back on the tourism map. Now, more than just an attraction for tourists, the event also aims to encourage the creative and innovative spirit of numerous Batangueños in Lian to design and build their own balsa (bamboo beach raft). To make sure you get the best spot during the Balsahan Festival, check out the accommodation promos at Matabungkay Beach Resort, www.matabungkay.net/promos.php.

5)    Tinapayan Festival

Cuenca in Batangas is known for its tasty tinapay (breads) and skillful panadero (bakers). So to highlight the best assets of the town, its local government decided to organize the “Tinapayan Festival” along with the feast day of its patron saint, San Isidro Labrador. The celebration lavishly showcases the baking talents of the Cuencano bakers via large-scale structures made of bread. Townspeople can also participate in the festival by using bread as house ornaments. If you want to experience the magic of the Tinapayan Festival, be sure to secure a Batangas accommodation in Cuenca around June.

Dubai Shopping Festival 2012 in Full Swing

This year’s Dubai Shopping Festival has attracted thousands of tourists to the city and it’s not just the shops and malls that are enjoying the increase in business; hotels and tourist attractions are also enjoying the tourism surge.

Many travellers from the UK, China, India and the GCC book their Dubai holidays in January especially for the event so they can take advantage of special discounts, entertainment and tax-free purchases. Dubai hotels located next to the shopping malls are benefitting from shopaholic guests who are keen to grab a bargain during the month-long event.

A spokesperson for Kempinski Hotel, Mall of the Emirates, said that the festival is a key period for them as shoppers enjoy luxury holidays in the city.

“We have seen an increase in bookings from the GCC during the DSF period for leisure visits to Dubai,” he noted.

“We expect that most of these guests have come to experience the shopping festival.”

Dubai shopping festival 2012 opening
Image by: jack n’d box, on Flickr

This year’s festival with the slogan ‘One Family, One World, One Festival’ is the 17th edition and visitors can enjoy a wealth of entertainment including musical shows, international fashion shows, street performances, themed carnivals, nightly fireworks, artists’ performances, film festivals, and cultural events that reflect Dubai’s charm and hospitality.

Leila Suhail, the CEO of the Dubai Events and Promotions Establishment (DEPE), said that four million people attended the festival in 2011 including 884,660 tourists from regional and international countries who took holidays to Dubai during the festival month.

“The Dubai Shopping Festival plays a major role in supporting the economy of Dubai and boosting it in various sectors,” explained Suhail.

Perfume shop, Dubai shopping festival
Image by: zeddy1200, on Flickr

Approximately 6,000 shops and 50 shopping malls are taking part in the 2012 event and retailers are offering up to 75 per cent discounts on a variety of products including clothes, perfumes, jewellery, major brands, watches, electronics, carpets and crafts, enabling tourists to take home a choice of souvenirs from their holiday in Dubai.

Global Village , Dubai
Image by: Chu❤, on Flickr

As well as receiving significant discounts at shops and malls, visitors enjoying Dubai holidays during this festive shopping month will also have the chance to win some fantastic prizes throughout the duration of the festival. Prizes include as a LX570 car and Dh.100, 000 in cash in the Lexus Mega Raffle and the chance to win 21kilos of gold worth Dh.4.5mn through raffle draws with The Dubai Gold and Jewellery Group.

The Dubai Shopping Festival runs from 5th January to 5th February, 2012 and is widely celebrated in thousands of venues across the city.

1969 Woodstock Festival - a Memorable Dream

The 1969 Woodstock Festival in upstate New York was an event that changed the world. It was the first time that so many people gathered together to listen to music in an outdoor setting. It was historic because of the sheer volume of people (estimates are 450,000) who attended and because of the performers who took the stage. Instead of just being a concert, it became an event. The cultural significance of Woodstock cannot be overlooked.

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Hippies and flower power were all the rage at that time. The youth was disenfranchised by the system and Vietnam War protests were taking place every day. Though the concert was not a war protest, the event itself became a protest. There were political figures such as Abby Hoffman there to talk about the war and why he was against it. There were politically inspired songs which captured the flavor of the crowds.

The <a rel=”nofollow” onclick=”javascript:ga(‘send’, ‘pageview’, ‘/outgoing/article_exit_link/701965’);” href=http://www.woodstockmemorabilia.com> Woodstock Festival</a> was originally supposed to be held in Woodstock NY, but it was actually held in Bethel NY on a farm owned by Max Yasgur. When the idea for the concert first came up and permits were needed, the organizers estimated there would be 50,000 people, which was a large number. As word of the event spread, it garnered the attention of hippies all around the United States. People wanted to come from nearly every state, and the idea of  having 50,000 crazy hippies in town was no longer appealing, so they withdrew the permit for the concert.

Max Yasgur came forward and offered his farm as the new site for the concert. The organizers had no choice but to accept his offer and so the concert venue had changed to a pig farm. There was no way that anyone could have known the appeal this concert would have on the youth. So many people showed up that the New York State Thruway became a parking lot. Concert goers abandoned their vehicles and began walking to the concert.

There were big names at the concert such as The Who, Jimi Hendrix, Joan Baez, Grateful Dead and Janis Joplin. There were so many acts that they had to construct multiple stages to accommodate all the performers who wanted to partake in this once in a lifetime event.

Woodstock has become synonymous with counter-culture, drug use and hippies but ask those in attendance and they will tell you that it was so much more than that. It was a movement of a counterculture who were more in tune with worldly events then at any other time. It was message of peace, harmony and love in a world that was in such a mess. In many ways that message has now been lost forever by a new world of crime, greed, corruption and burglaries… but we can still have the memories and dream of Woodstock.

Celebrate Indian Tribal Festival at Baghesur

Tigers by Tribals has taken a very interesting initiative, the Baghesur Festival, to celebrate the lives of the Indian tribes. The goal towards organising such an event is to take another step towards saving our jungles and thus, the tigers. Tiger, although beloved among animal lovers, is now an endangered species. While the world is concentrating more than just its energy to save this wonderful species, the situation is still not improving. A few right steps can lead to the survival of the species, and thus Tigers by Tribals believe that they can be saved by the tribals of India, especially the people of the Baiga tribe who worship the tiger. This tribe is the most dominant tribe that is spread across major jungles of the country, mainly in Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and Jharkhand. The name of the festival originates from the fact that this tribe call the animal, Baghesur.

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The Indian Tribal Baghesur Festival is celebrated in Bandhavgarh, the most densely populated tiger reserve, known to have more than 50 Royal Bengal Tigers. It aims at empowering the tribals who were forced to leave the forests and were left workless. These people have a brilliant knowledge of arts and crafts that is excellent in its own way. If we help them retain their traditions and culture, and make them aware about wildlife conservation, they can help us save the habitat of the animal, and also assist in stopping activities like poaching. Poaching is one of the main activities which contribute to decrease in tiger population, besides deforestation. These two problems can be solved by the Baiga tribe as the forest is their home and tiger, their God.

One of the best Tribal Festivals of India, the Baghesur Art Fest, will be celebrated this year as a four day event from 28th November 2015 to 1st December 2015. The event is very interesting for tourists who come to Bandhavgarh for wildlife trips and to get a chance to encounters the Indian tigers. The opening ceremony consists of folk dances and entertaining songs, followed by discussions on wildlife conservation by experts. Ethnic food, live demos, and an exhibition cum sale of wonderfully crafted souvenirs are the major highlights of the event. The tribal paintings and tiger sculptures, made by this tribe, put some light on how they perceive the forests and the animals. There is no denying that the tribes are more attached to this magnificent animal and its habitat than anyone could be.

The 8th Anioma Cultural Festival A Day To Remember

The 8th Edition of Anioma Cultural Festival held at Arcade Ground beside Grand Hotel, Asaba, Delta State has come and gone but memoirs of the cultural event will linger on in the minds of its attendees, culture aficionados, culture historians, tourists and indeed lovers of culture alike. The MTN sponsored occasion, supported by West African Food Seasoning and put together by the Organization for the Advancement of Anioma Culture (OFAAC) was a cultural festival to behold and perhaps the finest in the history of Delta State as some analysts have put it. It was indeed a colourful event that suggested the aptitude of the people to preserve and flaunt their cherished dance culture to the world.

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It was something worth Anioma day. The Anioma Cultural Festival is the single biggest annual event of the Anioma people assembling the highest number of royal fathers and their subjects alike. Nothing has reached this magnitude in the history of the people. It is now an occasion that groups and individuals look forward to hoping it times swiftly because it practically defines and redefines the culture people’s culture. In the past, it has brought to Anioma’s soil, a former Head of State and other people of greater substance. This year’s theme has been “Spirit of Unity in Anioma”. The organizers envision that unity is a necessary factor that will accentuate several socio-political and economic accomplishments for the people including separate statehood.

Guests on arriving at the venue at this year’s edition had breathtakingly noticed the arresting and leading sights of the “Y’ellow” colour of MTN Nigeria only surpassed by the radiant “Akwa-Ocha or Otogwu” (traditional white attire) of the Anioma people everywhere and it required nothing more to presage that the event in question was not for “children”. As events unfolded, guests were tickled heartwarmingly with cultural dances; traditional wrestling, fashion show and a raffle draw so that in the end, it was a wonder just how much the participants had given in their best to rehearsals to thrillingly give the audience an epic-deserving demonstration of the richness of the people’s culture that was more than anything worth it. The graspable deduction is that the people are still living with an unbroken culture. Conceivably, the only event comparable to the festival may have been the Anioma rally organized in the mid 1980s by Obi (Senator) Nosike Ikpo, Dr.G. O. Orewa, Prof B. I. C. Ijomah and Chief P. O. C. Ozieh (The fathers of the Anioma nation) for the Movement for the Creation of Anioma State to draw public support for the creation of Anioma State.

This year’s edition of Anioma Cultural Festival was fantastically organized courtesy of punctilious and efficient legerdemain of Arch Kester Ifeadi, Paddy Ugbo and Godfrey Osakwe and well represented by quite a whole number of towns that make up the Anioma nation. First, the music of Ogbogu Okonji and Uche Nwalama blaring from the speakers of MTN Nig had to give way to the Master of Ceremonies who promptly acknowledged the presence of guests and participants to the event. Second, a poignant opening speech rendered by Arch Ifeadi, the chief host flagged-off the ceremony with over 100 participating groups and nearly 30 monarchs also royally in attendance.

Several kinds of cultural dance of Anioma including “Egwu Ohuhu (Oshushu or Osusu), Egwu Aguba, Egwu Imanokwa, Egwu Aja, Egwu Amala, Egwu Ekobe, Egwu Oduko, Egwu Idegbani and Egwu Uloko displayed the art of power dance only exceptional to the Anioma group. From Agbor to Utegbeje; Amai to Umusa; Onicha-Ugbo to Ibusa and Ashaka to Aboh, the cultural attire and dance-language of the people were the same. Anioma had quite enough of it to pass on to their children yet unborn. These were kinds of dances that appeared very magically charming to the outside world but for time, the Anioma had more to offer.

In the primary school category, the Seat of Wisdom Primary School, Kwale won the competition. Brighter Future Secondary School, Kwale also came first in the secondary school category that was adjudged very tough. The occupational war dance category which stole the attention of the audience was won by Onu Anioma, Owa-Alero. Chukwu Onyi Rimma of Agbor-Obi won the “Egwu Oshushu” dance style category. The “Egwu Amala” dance category was won by Ika Nrima also from Agbor-Obi while Heavenly Steppers of Kwale came first in the contemporary dance category of the competition. Umu Nzei carried the day in the traditional wrestling competition. The Kwale and Ika’s performance tremendously relegated their Oshimili and Aniocha kinsmen to the background.

Some royal fathers and mother graced the occasion and were His Royal Highness, Obi Kikachukwu, the Obi of Ubulu-Unor; His Royal Highness, Obi Okolie I (JP), the Obi of Egbudu Akah; His Royal Highness, Obi Johnson Ekpechilu, the Ezemu of Emu; His Royal Highness, Obi (Prof) Louis Chellunor Nwaoboshi, the Obuzor of Ibusa; His Royal Highness, Obi Emmanuel Offor, the Obi of Adonta; His Royal Highess, Obi Godwin Onyeweuwa, the Obi of Ewulu; His Royal Highness, Ezewali Ahoma Collins, the Obi of Otolokpo; His Royal Highness, Obi Ofuokwu, the Obi of Obior; Her Royal Majesty, Obi Martha Dunkwu, the Omu of Anioma and His Royal Majesty, Dr. Emeka Ilunor, the Ezeduna II of Ifitedunu in Dunukafia Local Government Area of Anambra State. The Asagba of Asaba, Obi (Prof) Chike Edozie was well represented.

The presence of Dr. Emeka Ilunor, the Igwe of Ifitedunu symbolized the kinship that Anioma share with their Igbo kinsmen across the Niger and is well praiseworthy. The arrival of the Igwe ushered in joy and added colour to the event as he was applauded by the other Highnesses in recognition of his shared relationship with the people of Anioma. The light-hearted royal father beamed with so much joy upon arrival at the venue and did not find it difficult to blend with the rest of his kinsmen from the other part of the River Niger. His participation and especially the formal procedure that trailed his influx to the venue were supremely and glamorously majestic.

The Umu Anioma Foundation Inc was also well represented at the occasion by the delegation led by this writer (Emeka Esogbue). The Foundation members dazzlingly and gloriously shone in T-shirts, fez-caps and jean-jackets specially branded for the occasion with the inscription that symbolized Anioma as the nation’s 37th state in the making. The presence of the apex Anioma organization was well received following the announcement of its presence by the Master of Ceremonies. The group presented its aims and objectives with bottles of wines to the royal fathers in attendance. It also offered the monarchs, a pre-prepared speech from the convener of the Group, Prince Emmanuel Ohai.

The event was also well covered by the media. Some of which were Channels Television, Silverbird Television, Ovation Magazine and others. Interviews were richly entertained from important guests and representatives including this writer on behalf of Umu Anioma Foundation. The writer (Emeka Esogbue) told Silverbird Television crew that the actualization of the proposed Anioma State was most significant for the Anioma people so it represents one of the key-targets of Umu Anioma Foundation that the people gets it. The Umu Anioma Foundation is working tirelessly towards achieving the objective.

He also expressed his optimism that the Jonathan’s administration would grant it because the proposed state is more viable than several of the existing states. He had earlier expressed his desire for the continuation of Anioma Cultural Festival to the MTN Publication. He stated that that there were quite a lot to benefit from the festival. He also praised the organizers of the event for their ability to put together such a huge event while explicating his awareness that a number of Anioma indigenes have in the past profited from the micro-scheme facility of OFAAC. OFAAC is one of the best things to happen to the region despite all odds that it needs to surmount.

Although, the cultural Festival was a colossal accomplishment, it was sad that many of the region’s politicians and political representatives had their faces missing at the event. As one of the guests at the event puts it “It was cheerless and ironical that these politicians who after riding on the backs of the poor masses to gain positions refused to show their faces at the festival”. It was also cynical, mordant and irreverent that the Anioma big names were also missing. What could have happened to the teeming Anioma academicians, technocrats, community leaders, educationists, politician, top government functionaries, serving and ex-service men and sportsmen and women?

Political rallies should never only be meeting platforms for politicians who have made immense benefits from offices using the name of the region and its people. Except, the cultural festival is for royal fathers and dancers only, the Anioma politicians and indigenes that parade big names must be made to explain why they refused to identify with their people. Leaders of Anioma socio-political and economic groups should also not be spared for their absence because an event like a cultural festival remains the best platform to determine the feelings of the people they purportedly represent. The people should not be represented in absence. Although, lots of Groups exist in Anioma, these Groups were never found inside arranged canopies sparking off speculations that they are too far from their own people.

Personal interviews granted by this writer revealed that a larger number of attendees expressed satisfaction that politicians were not in attendance. To them, the presence of politicians meant assassinations followed by violence and such would not be in the interest of OFAAC and what they hope to achieve. However, this should not be so. A gathering like this will offer politicians the opportunity to fraternize with their own people.

The roll-call of monarchs present at the event also confirmed that only about 15% of them were present at the ceremony. OFAAC is a non-governmental body and belongs to every illustrious son and daughter of Anioma. There is therefore no reason why royal fathers should rather choose to be present at a political rally over a cultural festival of the people the claims to truly represent. As custodians of traditions and cultures, a cultural festival celebration is the day of any royal highness who has the interest of his people at heart. We may argue that political rallies are more financially rewarding to attend but it is more graceful for a monarch to majestically and smilingly watch his own people perform excitingly since a monarch remains part of the society he traditionally presides over.

OFAAC on their own part should also show readiness to carry everyone along and ensure that the numerous towns and communities of the region are parts of the event. Of importance to the region is that invitations are extended to Anioma areas outside Delta State. One would have wished that Anioma communities of Onitsha, Igbanke, Ekpon, Ozza, Ogbaru, Ogidi, Oguta, Ogba, Oba, Akwukwu-Obosi, Ozobulu, Oraifite and Ndoni feature in the cultural festival because the people remain one with strong ancestral links.  Although, His Royal Majesty, the Ezeduna of Ifitedunu was present, guests were open-mouthed as to why there were no participants from his distant part of Anioma land. OFACC should truly use the cultural festival as a rallying point to culturally reunite the Anioma people in the five Nigerian states that they have found themselves.

Although this year’s edition featured secondary school groups, it will be nicer if Anioma higher institution groups are made to participate in the parades for in this way, the youths of the region would have carried the day. We are aware that Anioma Groups are now springing up in different higher institutions and will remain fortified with events like what OFAAC offers. The future is indeed bright for OFAAC and the Anioma Cultural Festival because in time to come it will surely attract foreign tourists and Nigerians in Diaspora to the Anioma soil. Once this is achieved, Anioma soil will become the home of African culture lovers.

Importantly, OFACC with every of its event has demonstrated that there is room for further improvement. I salute the Board, trustees and members of the Organization for the Advancement of Anioma Culture for a job well done. I stand up for you!

15th Dubai Summer Surprises Festival in Full Swing

The 15th edition of the Dubai Summer Surprises (DSS) festival is currently underway in the emirate and visitors were treated to a spectacular opening ceremony on 14th June, 2012.

Thousands of local residents and tourists taking Dubai holidays are joining in with the month-long celebrations and during the opening ceremony at Modhesh World at Dubai World Trade Centre, they enjoyed impressive acrobatic shows, laser displays and a fantastic parade at Hall Number 6 of the trade centre.

The annual festival is aimed towards families planning holidays to Dubai and the event also attracts thousands of local residents and visitors of all ages.

Dubai Summer Surprises
This image in flickr thanks to worldtraveller5, on Flickr

Dubai Summer Surprises runs from 14th June to 14th July, 2012 and during the festivities, holidaymakers can enjoy entertainment including, live music, parades, puppet shows, exhibitions, sports and games, competitions, discounts, store promotions, raffles and much more.

Younger visitors can watch stage cartoon shows including The Smurfs, Hello Kitty, Barbie, Sponge Bob, Ice Age, Charlie and Lola, and Teletubbies.

Over 6,000 retail outlets participate in the event by offering special promotions, prize giveaways, or discounts to customers.

Tourists who are looking to indulge during their holidays in Dubai can take advantage of the Dubai Spas Promotion where premium spas in the emirate such as Spa Zen, The Rixos Royal Spa, Softouch Spa, and Amara Spa are offering a wide range of discounts on pampering treatments and services.

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The annual festival is organised by the Dubai Events and Promotions Establishment (DEPE) and is aimed at families taking luxury holidays across the GCC. The summer event also helps increase occupancy levels for Dubai hotels during their “weaker” tourist season.

The first Dubai Summer Surprises took place in 1998 and attracted 600,000 visitors who spent Dh850 million. Last year, the festival recorded four million visitors and they spent Dh8.8 billion during the month-long event.

Visitors will have the chance to win a selection of prizes during a Dubai holidays, including a Nissan Patrol and AED 150,000 in cash in the weekly DSS Grand Raffle; weekly prizes at the Festival Centre such as AED 50,000 DFC gift vouchers and a grand prize of a Jeep Wrangler Sahara Unlimited; and an Emirates Airline return economy ticket to any Emirates Airline destination in the weekly MasterCard joint-promotion.

Ways to Promote your College Fest

The success of every college fest depends on the response that it gets from the masses. Hence, promoting your fest is a very important task in organizing a college fest. Though, it is not always about the numbers, it is a great feeling when your college fest is well received. The more participants, the more fun it is. If your campus can accommodate a large crowd, you should definitely go forward and promote your fest in a larger scale.

Misconception: Promoting to a larger crowd costs more.

Reality: With more students living a virtual life on the Internet, now it is practically very easy to promote your college fest to thousands of students. The amazing features of Facebook Pages and Groups can be harnessed to invite your friends to the fest. They in turn may invite their friends. If you have around 15 to 20 people who would invite their friends, you will have around 1000 students who may attend your fest. This is just an example; you might even do much better. Websites, which provide information on college fests, give you the option to promote your fest to thousands of students who are looking for a fest to attend. Some of the top websites to promote your fest are knowafest.com, symposiumz.net and campuscultr.com.

Misconception: Only the Big Colleges get more participation.

Reality: Though it is true that the big colleges get more participants, it is not true that only they should get more participation. It all comes down to how you promote your college fest. It is generally easier for the more famed colleges to promote their event better and at the same time, it completely depends on the team that organizes the event/fest. If you don’t have college fame on your side, nothing to worry, all you have to do is create a good front and then start your promotion.

Here is a checklist for promoting your fest:

1) Decide the theme:

Good themes have a very good impact on the success of the college fest. It creates an emotional impact on the organizers and the participants as well. Some examples for College Fest themes - ‘Protect the Environment’, ‘Be the Change’, ‘Learn By Doing’, ‘Reinvent’, ‘More Tech’.

2) Design your Logo, Posters and Website:

Branding, as they call it is what connects your audience with you. Branding your college fest helps make a social connection with your audience. Branding your fest can be started of with a good tagline/theme. Then comes the design of the Logo, Posters and the website. You can give out a call to all your college mates to come up with their own designs forselection and you will be surprised to know how much talent there is in your college.

3) Create a Facebook Page and post regularly:

Facebook as said earlier is the easiest way to connect with students and get them involved with your event. Post your updates and announcements in your Facebook Page/Group and also you can have an online contest or quiz.

4) Publish your fest in websites like Knowafest.com, Campuscultr.com and Technical Symposiums:

Many students of many colleges go to these websites to look for college fests, symposiums and cultural fests to attend. Publishing your fest in these websites will get you a larger audience.

5) Go for sponsorships after you have done your Online Promotion well, this can help you get better Sponsors:

Most of the sponsors look at how popular your fest is before they can approve a sponsorship. Hence, it is very important that you put up a good front for them to look at. Your Online Promotion (which you can do without spending any money) helps you get better sponsorship by enhancing your presence online.

6) Send invitations to colleges. First, to colleges nearby and then to colleges in other places:

Sending official invitations with college fest posters to other colleges are a very standard and necessary part of promotion. College administrators take in these invitations and put up your posters in their notice boards. This will give you more promotion from an official source. First, send the invites to the colleges near you, as those students are more likely to attend your fest. Then, send them to colleges in other places from where you expect students to turn up.

5 Princess Birthday Party Theme Ideas

Birthday parties for kids are getting more convoluted day by day and sometimes a simple theme is not pleasing enough for a kids’ birthday party. Every parent wants to celebrate his/her kids’ birthday party in a very creative, special and organized format. If you are thinking of doing something innovative for your little girl’s upcoming birthday, one great idea would be to implement an exciting princess birthday party theme. Here I will share some creative princess birthday party ideas with you.

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1. Princess Theme – A Fantasy Party Your Princess will Love!

Every little girl wants to be a princess and by creating a princess birthday party theme you can make her dream come true. You can select royal colors for the princess theme like purple, pink, gold or silver. According to the color theme, decorate the party area with balloons, streamers, glitters and flags. To give a royal touch to the party you can create a princess castle with a large appliance box and decorate with glitters, markers and crayons. Princess castle will not only provide a great party decoration but it will also serve as a tool of entertainment for your little princess and her friends.

2. Cinderella Theme – Every Little Girl’s Dream

Cinderella birthday party theme with party games, supplies crafts and decorations will really create a great magic in the party. For Cinderella theme you can pick majestic colors like pink, lavender, light blue and white. Then according to the color theme decorate the party area with pink, silver and blue sequins and plenty of balloons and streamers.  Set the table with matching plates, napkins, candies and frosted cupcakes and also create a fancy palace party area for your little cute princess.

3. Fairy Theme – Creating the Magical World of Fairies

Fairy theme is another classic princess birthday party theme idea. Arrange a birthday party in an enchanted fairy garden to give a fascinating look. Decorate the enchanted garden with glittery fairy wings, flower headbands and sprinkle some glitter to give the illusion of fairy dust. Use mushroom toadstools, flower vase glasses, linen napkins, fine porcelain china and cutlery. Set themed interactive activities and games. An enchanted fairy party theme will best suit on the girls between the ages of three to eight.

4. Unicorn Theme – Add Magic & Flare in the Party

The Unicorn princess birthday theme will surely add flare, magic and fantasy to your daughter’s party. Decorate the party area with streamers and balloons and sprinkle some glitter and flowers on the table. Turn your party area into a magical unicorn forest and include themed interactive games like the golden unicorn horn quest.

5. Barbie Theme – The Favorite Princess Birthday Party Theme

Another innovative princess birthday party idea is the Barbie birthday theme. This is an all time favorite of all little girls. The Barbie theme includes Barbie lollipop, lip gloss, gel pens, Barbie invitations, and Barbie gift bags.  Pink or lavender should be the main color schemes for the party. Little girls can bring their Barbie dolls and play dress up.

Although there are almost infinite birthday themes ideas but the above cited princess birthday party themes are the most popular themes for birthday girls. Opting these popular princess birthday party themes will certainly make your little girl’s birthday a very memorable event.

Leeds Festival Tickets

After a successful first year in Leeds, a continued resurgence in the popularity of outdoor music festivals led to the Reading festival selling out more and more quickly every year. The Leeds leg, however, was plagued by riots and violence which led to problems in retaining its licenceThe worst of these was in 2002, after which Mean Fiddler moved the festival to Bramham Park, near Bramham north-east of Leeds in 2003. Since then, security at both sites has increased and problems have been reduced. Although the Bramham Park site presents more challenges to the stage builders, it is far better suited to the needs of festival goersThe early 2000s saw a varied but predominantly rock line-up, though as the decade has progressed the Main Stage and Radio 1 Stage line-up has featured mostly Indie artists. However, one day  is still traditionally set aside for hard rock and metal.
Last year, the stages were graced with the presence of Metallica, The Killers, Bloc Party, The Cribs, CSS, Queens Of The Stone Age and Vampire Weekend amongst many, many other artists at the festivals that take place over August Bank Holiday weekend (28-30 August)..

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Leeds Festival is the sister to the long standing Reading event with performances from lovable indie lads, Blur and an amazing set from The Red Hot Chilli Peppers.The first event was held in Temple Newsham Park, however, after some trouble the event was moved in 2003 to a new home Branham Park.
Amidst the commerciality which has been the butt of the discerning festival goer’s jokes, The Carling Weekend has pulled in many huge acts from all genres of music.
leeds festival director by  Mean Fiddler’s director of festivals, Melvin Benn is one of the most powerful men in the UK festival industry, with Glastonbury, Homelands, and Reading/Leeds all part of his portfolio of responsibility. From his calm manner, you wouldn’t think this is one of the busiest men in music but perhaps that’s exactly the quality you need to succeed when dealing with dilemas by the dozen load, in his case over two sites hundreds of miles apart! Today he kick-starts a series of fortnightly interviews, as VF quizes all the main festival organisers about their events and where they might be going next year - starting with the Carling Reading and Leeds festivals, held consecutively every August bank holiday weekend.

Leeds festival line up include Kings of Leon, Arctic Monkeys, Radiohead,Rage Against The Machine, The Killers, Metallica,Razorlight, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Smashing Pumpkins,Franz Ferdinand, Muse, Pearl Jam.